Have you ever wondered whether a professional boarder can pick up just about any board, ride it, and feel natural on it? The answer seems to be yes.
For example, take Nuutti Niemelä, 22, a slopestyle rider for the national A team. He shreds on a skateboard in the summertime like it’s his first nature – but that’s not the only board he gets busy on.
He also found riding a wakeboard a very natural thing the first time he set his feet on it: standing up and not falling posed no trouble to him, and turning was a breeze. How come?
This year, the transition from skis onto a bike has happened extraordinarily quickly in Rovaniemi (the biggest city in Finland, north of the polar circle). Usually, the transition takes around 1–2 months in the north in the spring and fall.
As I left for ”a high altitude camp” at Kebnekaise after mid-April, the conditions were still somewhat wintery, but as I returned ten days later, all the snow had melted almost completely. The mountain biking season was on!
Mika Merikanto, an extreme skier and an assistant for Huippu living in Les Marecottes, Switzerland, has been extending his skiing season in Zermatt. In central Europe, skis won’t be getting much rest for weeks to come.
How are the skiing conditions in Chamonix and Valais, Mika?
This winter, we got loads of snow and there is still an exceptional amount of it. Actually, Switzerland has been getting fresh snow in record-setting amounts in the last few days. Speaking of record-setting events, that also applies to the floods caused by all the snow – but for a slalom skier the conditions are better than in years.
Snow is gone, skiing is not! The Swiss extreme skiing legend, Sylvain Saudan, was eagerly practicing turns on rocky ground and sand in the summer. He put it quite appropriately: ”For me, the people who can ski on the stones can ski in any kind of snow.”
Saudan in our minds, we pulled out 25 years old Kästle RXs and headed to the gravel pit in Mustavuori, Tampere, to see how sand would ski. Skiing on sand isn’t just a good workout – it’s also fun and extremely dusty!